On Friday, the Academy of Scoring Arts hosted a “score study” of Jurassic Park (1993), one of John Williams’ many famous film scores. The event featured Williams’ brother, Don Williams, a performer and “veteran studio percussionist” who has worked with his brother on various scores. Don is currently working on John’s next project, a little film called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In addition to revealing a possible runtime for the film, Don also shared that fans can expect to hear all of the themes from the Star Wars franchise.
“It is top to bottom music,” Don explained. “We’ve done four days and we just scratched the surface. I think we’ve got something like 34 minutes in the canon at this point, but I can tell you that every theme that you ever heard is gonna be compiled into this last effort. Everyone: Leia, Yoda, the Phantom, the Darth, all of it. It’s gonna be in there and in his usual style, he hides them. You gotta go look for them. You’ll find them, but you gotta go look for them.”
“You’ll be sitting there watching the film go by and, oh, there it is! There’s two bars of it and it grabs you, and it takes you away. I find that happening a lot with this while I’m playing, which takes me away from what I’m supposed to be doing, which is counting and coming in the right place,” he adds. “Yeah, isn’t that nuts. He keeps writing harder stuff for me to play. Which, okay, I’m fine with it, but did I do something when I was a kid?”
“He’s marvelous, he’s got an energy at 87 that is beyond my belief that he could stand in front of an orchestra and conduct, and know all this music, know everybody’s part, when something’s out of tune,” he explains. “At 87 he still stands there for six hours and still conducts. I think that’s part of his MO. I mean, he can’t do it any other way.”
Don also revealed that John is heading on vacation and will return in September, which is when they plan to finish the score.
“We’ll try to wrap the thing up in about a month and a half,” he explained. “It’s hard, it’s wonderful. The privilege of working with my own brother. It’s pretty amazing.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is expected to hit theatres on December 20th.